Teenage Pregnancy :
A Possible Blessing in Disguise
Photo : Roberta Lott/Sxc.hu
Teenage pregnancy is a topic often discussed and seldom looked upon with fondness or respect. When we hear about a teenage girl becoming pregnant we often associate it with negative or derogatory things. Sometimes we feel sorry for her, having apparently ruined her school career and future prospects, and often say she will have to drop out of school in order to support the child
Teenage pregnancy doesn't affect just the girls though; the boy's life is changed just as much as that of the girl, because the child then becomes his responsibility as well. It is for this reason that many boys deny ever being with the girl that falls pregnant, or simply disappear, leaving her to raise the baby on her own.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world, and with one of the highest HIV infection rates worldwide it is no surprise that stigma follows underage pregnancy everywhere. After falling pregnant many couples consider the prospect of abortion, girls left alone in particular. At the time this seems like the only solution to the problem faced, due to embarrassment and not being able to face their families. Religion, however, in some cases does not permit abortion, because you are in essence taking a life. This conflicting situation is worsened by the fact that abortion is legal in South Africa.
One of the motivations behind legalising abortion was so as to prevent the unregulated 'black market' abortions that plagued our country. However, despite its legalisation, the number of 'backroom abortions' is still high and death often follows these kind of abortions. Even if the girl is to survive, the psychological and physical effects remain.
Although many teenagers choose abortion or other measures in order to get rid of their babies, there are those who decide to keep their children; the brave few who take up the responsibility and honour of bringing another life into this world. Falling pregnant, whether by accident or on purpose should never be seen as a burden. The next time you see a pregnant teenager, why not go up to her and give her a few words of motivation; that could be just what she needs to bring the cure for cancer or the next Mother Teresa into the world.
Our preconceptions and judgements are born from years of stereotyping. Leave judgement for those who live perfect lives and rather choose to support those in need of a little help. Yes, they might have been irresponsible, but what if this is what they need to become the magnificent individuals they were intended to be.